Bolder shoulders begin with this foundational move
Goal: Size, Strength
The shoulders are a fun muscle group to train. We use the term "fun" subjectively, of course. But the fact is that a smart, well-rounded shoulder routine can have a drastic impact on your overall physique appearance -- wider shoulders give the appearance of a smaller waistline. But building a program on isolation movements such as lat raises, or always seeking a "pump
," may leave you struggling to grow.
That's why you should always be starting your shoulder day with the military press, according to Taylor Simon, MSc, BA, CSCS, co-director of Taylored Fitness in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Build, then burn.
"Too often, people go to isolation moves thinking that feeling the burn
means better results," says Simon. "But that's not the case. For mass, we want more weight and high volume. The military press is a big, compound exercise that lets you lift heavy weights -- a lot of it. You get to utilize the chest and triceps helps to overload the delts, which means bigger gains
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"Take a wider than shoulder width grip on a barbell," he says. "Standing holding the bar on the tops of your pecs, the bar touching the collar bones. Press straight up overhead making sure to keep the abs and back muscles tight to protect the shoulders. Once at full extension immediately lower the bar back to start position. No need to extend the squeeze up top because there is no real benefit to the delts but it does put your back at risk." You can also use more weight by performing this seated in a power rack.
Doing this lift first, while you're fresh, ensures that you can move the most weight possible. "If your goal is bigger delts, do it at the beginning for four sets of six. A little body English is okay as you approach failure."
Pyramid up, then down
. If you want to infuse your pressing party with a little more intensity
, try pyramiding up in weight, then back down. "I call it a super pyramid," says Simon. "Moving up in weight each time, do four reps, then six, then eight, then 10, then 12. Then, work your reps back down." You may not be able to use as much weight as you work your way back up the pyramid. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
After filling your tank with growth-inducing presses, try 2-3 sets of isolation work for your front, side and rear deltoids. Aim for 12-15 reps to flush your delts with blood while keeping rest periods short (30-60 seconds).
For more from Taylor Simon, visit http:/www.tayloredtraining.ca/
or like his page on Facebook